Spring 2019

Did you know being outside with nature not only improves physical health, but also emotional health?

Don’t worry, people don’t have to trek up a mountain to truly reap the benefits of being outdoors. Getting outside for even a few moments regularly can help someone put down their phone and take a break from other stressors they have in their daily life. Even low-impact exercise, such as yoga or tai chi or walking outside can help give both the mind and body a boost.1

Enjoying Outdoors

What happens on the inside?

Studies show that by simply being outdoors, people can reduce their cortisol levels, a stress hormone. One study showed that being outdoors helps lower blood pressure and adiponectin, a protein that helps regulate blood sugar levels.2

Not all of us live in an area where it’s sunny enough every day to get outside. People can still give their mind and spirit a boost indoors too. It takes just five minutes every day with these four tips –

  1. Sit comfortably and focus on your breath
  2. Notice anything that takes your focus away from your breath, such as a lawnmower or a dog barking, or even a thought about the day’s activities
  3. If you do notice something else, try to let that distraction pass and ease your attention back to your breath.
  4. Take the time to breathe deeply and turn your attention inward

Finding ways to get away from screens, deadlines or worries will help anyone feel better, and be more mindful of what’s really important to their well-being.

For help finding more ways to live healthier or exercise more, consider Quartz’s Health Coaching program. Visit QuartzBenefits.com/healthcoaching to learn more.*

*State and Local members can call StayWell at (800) 821-6591 to learn about their health coaching opportunities.

Sources:

1. Diana Kachan, PhD; Henry Olano, MPH; Stacey L. Tannenbaum, et. al, “Prevalence of Mindfulness Practices in the US Workforce: National Health Interview Survey,” (accessed December 21, 2018), available at cdc.gov.
2. Park BJ, et al, “Physiological effects of Shirin-yoku – using salivary cortisol and cerebral activity as indicators,” (accessed December 21, 2018), available at ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.